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What are you paying for


astro mick
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Hi.I,ve just read the review of the new Takahashi FC-76DS,and while I know this manufacturer has a high reputation for build and optical quality,this baby comes in at £2.212 for the basic model.Its still a Doublet,with standard Fluorite glass.I have a bog standard Celestron 80ED that cost me £150,and it gives exquisite views of the heavens,with pinpoint stars.I also use it for imaging and at F7.5 is perfectly acceptable.Yes the build quality of the 80ED is,nt the same,but its very robust,and serves me very well.So why would I pay more than £2000 pounds for a scope that more or less does the same,but has a recognised name.I will await the term sacriledge for daring to compare these two scopes side by side.But honestly if your getting great views already,how do you improve on that.Mick.

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As with anything, and especially in our chosen hobby, the law of diminishing returns definitely holds true. I would suggest that the Tak will out perform your 80ED in sharpness of view, colour correction etc by reasonable margin (having looked through a couple I can say they truly are first rate), but it certainly is not 10x (plus) the telescope that the 80ED is which would be suggested by the cost differential. My experience has been one of surprising individuals who have not looked through one of the premium makers (Astro-Physics Inc, APM, Tak, TEC etc) scopes before but considered the scope they had as already excellent, by the improvement in the view offered by these scopes. More than one person has gone to purchase an APM Apo triplet after viewing through one of mine.

And then of course, it comes down to how much value you place on the incremental improvement. Each individual has to ask themselves where they want to sit on the performance / price curve.

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I started off with a Skywatcher scope, then moved to a Pentax and now to a Tak. Wold I go back to a Skywatcher? No way!! Are my pictures now £2000 better? Probably not!!

I'm not trying to defend the high prices charged and paid for scopes such as the Tak, but having owned and used it, for me it's worth every penny. The build quality is night and day compared to the Skywatcher. I know now that my kit is capable of collecting good data, any deficiencies are undoubtedly my fault!

I recommend the Skywatcher 80ED scopes to people who are talking about a short frac for imaging as it's affordable. I wouldn't recommend a Tak to someone starting out, but if someone is thinking of an upgrade then I'd recommend it totally.

I think of my Skywatcher scope being a Ford, My Pentax was a Mercedes and the FSQ85 is a Rolls Royce. Yes you get good data with all the scopes, can you tell that mine is taken with a Tak? I doubt it, but I don't care. I don't have mine to show off to other people, or to brag about, it produces data and that's it. Then it's up to me to make the data speak for itself, but it's nice to know that I can get consistently good data before I mess it up :smiley:

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you are paying for a scope that's better its that simple. It may not be a 100% better it may be only 1% better but thats not the point the nearer you get to perfection the more expensive those last couple of percent become its the same in every thing whether it be atheletic performance, motor racing , electronics or optics. quality and performance costs and its those last few percent that cost the most. Would I ever get a tak? probably not I cannot ever see me affording one but i am glad they are out there. It's the leaders that drag everything along and everything that comes after is an attempt to catch up its something in the nature of competition and invention not to let others get too far ahead so as long as takahashi, televue. astrophysics are out there pushing at the boundaries of performance other manufacturers have to follow because if you come last in this race you lose and go out of business look at meade they stopped innovating and competing so they died

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" And then of course, it comes down to how much value you place on the incremental improvement. Each individual has to ask themselves where they want to sit on the performance / price curve. "

And is the improvement with a £21,000 tube worth the price ... ?

Just interested to know that's all ... never going to find out for myself .... :embarassed:

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" And then of course, it comes down to how much value you place on the incremental improvement. Each individual has to ask themselves where they want to sit on the performance / price curve. "

And is the improvement with a £21,000 tube worth the price ... ?

Just interested to know that's all ... never going to find out for myself .... :embarassed:

I read somewhere that it costs £2million for every 1/10 second improvement in lap time for a formula 1 car I think that makes a tak a bargain because actually they are noticably better than an ed80
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" And then of course, it comes down to how much value you place on the incremental improvement. Each individual has to ask themselves where they want to sit on the performance / price curve. "

And is the improvement with a £21,000 tube worth the price ... ?

Just interested to know that's all ... never going to find out for myself .... :embarassed:

Yes, that was a rather indulgent purchase to say the least. I personally believe it is worth it, but I am also incredibly lucky to be able to make such purchases and position myself as close as I can to perfection on that curve. I have owned an LZOS made triplet Apo Lens (my TMB 115) for about 10 years and perhaps I am now quite spoiled by the scopes I have, but I would struggle to go back to what could be said to be a lesser view.

The other thing I failed to mention in my original post is you are also paying for absolute quality control and consistency. The Chinese made scopes for example have improved dramatically in the 20 plus years I have been observing, but there is still far too much variability in the performance of identical models. One could be a gem and the next a turkey. With the premium makers, you know before you look through it what you will have. I have a pretty good relationship with a couple of the premium makers and I know one recently destroyed over 60 lens from a 70 lens run because they did not meet the required standard. The mid range and lower makers probably would have still used them. You pay for the ones that do not make the grade as well.

Edited by DirkSteele
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Thank you for that Matthew .. .. .. :laugh:

I guess it's like comparing a PST to one of Ken Huggetts hand-built Solarscopes ( that I yearn for ) you get what you pay for generally .... :rolleyes:

Happy viewing .....

Edited by Steve Ward
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Thank you for that Matthew .. .. .. :laugh:

I guess it's like comparing a PST to one of Ken Huggetts hand-built Solarscopes ( that I yearn for ) you get what you pay for generally .... :rolleyes:

Happy viewing .....

I guess that's the whole point of this thread...is it worth it? For some, a £21k price tag for (and I'm guessing here) 10-20% improvement IS worth it. For others It's not. For others still (like me) it makes no difference 'coz I'll never own one anyway :)

But I'd REALLY love to have a look through one ;)

Edited by auspom
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My experience has been one of surprising individuals who have not looked through one of the premium makers (Astro-Physics Inc, APM, Tak, TEC etc) scopes before but considered the scope they had as already excellent, by the improvement in the view offered by these scopes.

Under great seeing my AP130 is remarkable; those nights are fairly few and far between, but they are the ones that stick in the memory. It wasn't cheap (although not all that expensive either, a similar price to what FLO would charge for a SkyWatcher 120mm triplet these days) but I view it as a one-time expense that will provide years of service - i'd never sell it, even if my name finally comes up on the 160 list.

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Does this not hark back to the F1 analogy though , or any really expensive ultra-fast car , how many owners of these would ever get to drive them regularly , flat out to their true potential ?

With the generally poor conditions seeing here in the UK how many times does a top end tube really get to shine above the competition , and on an average night is the view that much better or do they need near perfect conditions to show their extra 10% ... ?

I can see how the cost differences come about between an Escort and a Bugatti , and between a PST and a Solarscope , but between refractors ( size aside ) it's harder to see ...

I assume that 90% of the difference is in the quality of the glass and its figuring/finish/coatings as there's not much else apart from a tube and focuser ( which seem to get swapped out for Moonlites asap )

Now I've shown my ignorance in these matters I shall go and do some research into Optics and get myself a little better informed .... :rolleyes:

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I've not been lucky enough to have had a look through a Tak yet, but I thought my SW scope was sharp until I had a look through Rik's Tele Vue Pronto at the SGL star party. In theory it's a small difference, but it's a pretty special small difference when you're at the eyepiece being blown away by the wonder of the Universe. I'm now keeping an eye out for a second-hand Pronto!

On seconds thoughts, perhaps I'm lucky not to have had a look through a Tak... :)

Edited by Luke
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The differences are only apparent I think when you have the experience with the 'lesser' quality scope and are used to how it looks. Show the average non-astronomer and they won't see it almost certainly. This is not 'emperor's new cloths' it's just experience and the more experience the observer has, the better or more profound the impact will be.

It's the same all optics really. The difference between Televue and BST eyepieces are quite subtle sometimes and the differences between a (used) £50 TV plossl and a new Ethos are also small other than field and size. It's not always about price.

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Enjoy what you can afford.

Indeed. At the end of the day, any telescope, regardless of its quality, will reveal far more of the beauty of the heavens than no scope at all. Enjoy what you have and appreciate all that it can show you.

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The differences are only apparent I think when you have the experience with the 'lesser' quality scope and are used to how it looks. Show the average non-astronomer and they won't see it almost certainly. This is not 'emperor's new cloths' it's just experience and the more experience the observer has, the better or more profound the impact will be.

It's the same all optics really. The difference between Televue and BST eyepieces are quite subtle sometimes and the differences between a (used) £50 TV plossl and a new Ethos are also small other than field and size. It's not always about price.

I think that's a valid point I have a cheap 80 triplet but its a lot better visually than an ed80 but then I got to look through a pentax scope and that blew mine away. I thought my optics were good until that point the fact of the matter is they were just the best I had seen until then
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I'm hoping to go for the Tak 76 later this year, I think it is an amazing scope that will last a lifetime.

The Tak is obviously an amazing scope that is exceptionally well made that produces world class images but I think the irrational purchase mentality plays a part in this, people want a Tak. The world is full of irrational purchases, Rolex sell 1 million watches a year and a £2000 Rolex actually costs about £150 to make, people still buy them because its a Rolex and they want to buy into the brand, its a good watch but actually you could buy a Tissot for £300 that is 95% the same as the Rolex but at the end of the day it's still a Tissot.

A Skywatcher Equinox 80 at £500 is probably 95% as good as this £2500 Tak but people will still buy a Tak......and I hope to be one of them.

Stu

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

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Thanks everyone for your interesting replies.They are sort of what I expected,and I too would buy a Tak if I could afford it.

Around the topic of Lens manufacture,many years ago from the middle sixties to the 80.S I was an Optical Engineer,and polised and figured hundreds of Lenses,for both military use and Copying machines.

The principle basically was the same,the only difference was in glass quality and the Tolerance of the finished figure.

The procedure is very well understood,and in skilled hands,not rocket science.

The cementing of crown and flint glass,was also straight forward,as was the coating,using Magnesium Flouride in a vacuum environment.

I suppose what I,m saying is that producing these lenses of quality is fairly straight forward,at least in my day.

I think the principle still applies to-day,i don't know.

Thanks again.

Mick.

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I suppose what I,m saying is that producing these lenses of quality is fairly straight forward,at least in my day.

I suppose it is fairly simple, which is why you can buy a decent 80mm apochromat for a few hundred quid, even after it is shipped across the world and various importers and dealers take their cut. A decent 80mm achromat costs substantially less than that - a Vixen 80mf is £150 with rings, eyepieces, diagonal, and finderscope, and it's a fine double-star telescope, no shoddy optics in the one I had

As you head to the high end, you're paying for better colour correction out in to the near-UV and near-IR, which doesn't matter too much to visual folk but matters a lot to imagers as a CCD can 'see' those wavelengths far better than the human eye. You're also paying for better quality control (the 'ones they didn't ship' as well as the ones that did), and you're paying for the lack of volume as the market for a £1k+ 80mm refractor is presumably tiny.

Edited by Ben Ritchie
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It's great that there now reasonabley priced good optics about now such as the SW EDs, they represent fabulous value for money. However, compare an SW ED100 and a Takahashi TSA-102, and you might regret it - unless you can afford to buy the Tak! Try out these two scopes along side in different observing conditions and the difference wil be clear to the experienced observer.

As to if the difference is worth the price differenctial is purely a matter of personal financial circumstances, the optics speak for themselves.

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  • 2 months later...

Sorry to revive this thread, but I found the discussion very interesting. It reminds me of the endless discussions (terrestrial) photographers are having about cameras and lenses. Fortunately, the discussion in this thread has not turned into one of the many "a full-frame camera and expensive glass take great pictures" vs "equipment doesn't really matter" arguments I've seen way too often.

As I'm still not sure which scope to buy (my wife is already complaining that I'm thinking about this issue too much), this thread has provided additional food for thought.

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